Other pages you may find of interest

Cathedral of Christ the King

Castle of St Giorgio


La Spezia

Saint Maria Assunta Church


The Church of Santa Maria, La Spezia has existed on its current site in some form dating back to a least the 14th century. Having been rebuilt a number of times, significant repairs were carried out after it was severally damaged in World War II.  Having served as a cathedral from 1929 until the construction of the new La Spezia cathedral in the 1975 the church contains a number of works of art.


The Church of Santa Maria, La Spezia is located in the heart of the historic Old Town. It’s not known when the church was constructed but it is mentioned in records as far back as 1343, and it was adopted by the local parish in 1432. During the 15th and 16th century the church was expanded, and it was during this time that it was given its Blassa sandstone façade. In 1734 it was declared a collegiate church (a church other than a cathedral that has a chapter of canons) and in 1929, following the creation of the Diocese of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato by Pope Pius XI it was officially declared a cathedral, which it remained until the completion of the Cathedral of Christ the King in 1975 (See separate article).

The building has been rebuilt many times over the years and following significant damage during World War II it underwent a near-complete reconstruction.

Its plain external appearance conceals the fact that it contains a beautiful interior containing many works of art from the 15, 16 and 17th century.  Contained within the nave are displays that relate to the stories from the bible, these include a glazed terracotta piece depicting  the Coronation of the Virgin, created by Andrea della Robbia; a tapestry by Giovanni Battista Casoni depicts the feeding of the five thousand. The painting of the Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew by Genoese painter Luca Cambiaso is located by the baptismal font:  These items being brought to the church from the convent of St. Francis which was  located nearby until it was torn down to make room for the construction of the naval dockyard.. 

Also to be seen in inside the church are the marble tomb of the late 15th century naval commander Baldassare Biassa and a 15th century Crucifixion and the intricate relief work over the arched doorways. In addition, the Sacred Heart Chapel features other religious works including frescoes by the local artist Luigi Agretti.






              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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